Italian cyclist Fabio Aru signs for Team Qhubeka ASSOS, Africa’s first (and only) UCI WorldTour team. Aru is a former Italian champion (2017) and won the Vuelta a España in 2015. He also won the Young rider classification of Giro d’Italia in 2015, also three stages in Giro d’Italia in 2014 and 2015, and two stages in the Vuelta a España in 2014.
Here’s the announcement by Team Qhubeka ASSOS.
Aru, 30, has a stellar palmares having finished second and third at the Giro d’Italia, in 2015 and 2014 respectively, and fifth at the Tour de France in 2017
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, December 3, 2020 – Team Qhubeka ASSOS is thrilled to announce that Fabio Aru, 2015 Vuelta a España champion, will be riding for Africa’s only UCI-registered WorldTour team in 2021.
Aru, 30, has a stellar palmares having finished second and third at the Giro d’Italia, in 2015 and 2014 respectively, and fifth at the Tour de France in 2017.
The Italian is a multiple Grand Tour stage-winner including stage five of the Tour de France in 2017, back-to-back Giro d’Italia stage wins in 2015 as well as doubling up at the Vuelta a España in 2014. He took his debut Grand Tour stage victory at the Giro d’Italia in 2014.
He announced himself onto the international scene in some style in 2012, then as a stagiare with Astana, by taking an impressive second place finish on stage six of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. The Sardinian spent six seasons with Astana during which time he returned some very impressive results including a stage win at the Criterium du Dauphine in 2016.
The 2017 Italian champion joined UAE-Team Emirates the following year which is where he joins Team Qhubeka ASSOS from, and during which time he took to the start line of his 13th career Grand Tour.
Aru’s arrival follows on that from Simon Clarke, Sean Bennett, Dimitri Claeys, Kilian Frankiny, Lukasz Wisniowski, Karel Vacek, Emil Vinjebo, Connor Brown and Harry Tanfield.
Further additions to complete our roster will be made in due course.
Douglas Ryder – Team Principal
I am excited to have Fabio join our team; to have a rider who has won a grand tour in the Vuelta, been 5th in the Tour de France and twice on the podium of the Giro adds a lot to our teams development as we continue to strive to win on the world’s biggest stage; to inspire hope and create opportunity.
Fabio’s passion and love for cycling can be seen in the way he races and I think in our unique team we will see him rise again, as I am sure we will get the best out of each other.
I am absolutely delighted to be joining Team Qhubeka ASSOS next season and very grateful to Douglas Ryder who welcomed me to his team. When the possibility to sign first came about, and then after speaking with Douglas and other team members, I immediately felt that this was an environment that I wanted to be a part of.
I’ve also closely observed the work of the Qhubeka Charity and what they do is incredible. Some of my new colleagues have told me of the power and impact that going to a bicycle distribution ceremony has had on them. This has brought home to me the impact that the bicycle has had in my own life and the power it can hold for others. I really look forward to having that opportunity in the future too.
In the last few years I haven’t experienced all of the success that I’d hoped for and so I will use this new step to draw from some of the simple factors that saw me achieve those results, as I know that I’m capable again of similar success.
At this point in my career Team Qhubeka ASSOS is the perfect place for me to do so and I’m very grateful for the opportunity that they’ve provided me with to contribute to their legacy and to build on that fantastic work that they’ve done in the past.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of NTT Pro Cycling.
About NTT Pro Cycling
Founded in 2007, NTT Pro Cycling (formerly Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka) became the first-ever African cycling team to gain a WorldTour license, in 2016. With the support of our headline sponsor and technology innovation partner, NTT, we are the most purpose-driven, performance-led, and technology-enabled team in pro cycling today.
Our ambition is to continue to race at the highest levels in world cycling, to develop riders to realise their full potential and to inspire and motivate people across the African continent to ride bicycles.
We have bases in South Africa, Denmark, the Netherlands and Italy.
We also ride to raise awareness for Qhubeka, a global charity operating in South Africa, through our #BicyclesChangeLives campaign.
The hands on the back of the team race jersey are a reminder that every Qhubeka bicycle is a helping hand up to a beneficiary, which are provided through Qhubeka’s learn-to-earn and work-to-earn programmes.
A bicycle is a tool that helps people to travel faster and further and to carry more. In the face of extreme and persistent poverty, bicycles can change lives by helping to address socioeconomic challenges at the most basic level – helping people to get where they need to go.
About NTT Ltd.
NTT Ltd. is a global technology services company bringing together the expertise of leaders in the field, including NTT Communications, Dimension Data, and NTT Security. We partner with organizations around the world to shape and achieve outcomes through intelligent technology solutions. For us, intelligent means data-driven, connected, digital, and secure. As a global ICT provider, we employ more than 40,000 people in a diverse and dynamic workplace and deliver services in over 200 countries and regions. Together we enable the connected future.